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The Christian Valuation of Men

The Christian Valuation of Men

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Olin Alfred Curtis, D.D.

" Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the
flesh; even though we have known Christ after the
flesh, yet now we know him so no more," — 2 Cor. 5 :16.

Olin Alfred Curtis, D.D.

" Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the
flesh; even though we have known Christ after the
flesh, yet now we know him so no more," — 2 Cor. 5 :16.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE CHRISTIA VALUATIO OF MEOlin Alfred Curtis, D.D." Wherefore we henceforth know no man after theflesh; even though we have known Christ after theflesh, yet now we know him so no more," — 2 Cor. 5 :16.PAUL reaches the text by a movement sotumultuous with sudden turns of thoughtthat we are reminded of a mountaintorrent rushing hither and thither after astorm. And yet there are in this movementimportant points of discernible connection.The trying situation at Corinth reminds theapostle of his afflictions. Applying to theseafflictions his Christian faith, they are seento be light passing things, which work out**more and more exceedingly an eternal weightof glory." This glorious reward brings tomind the heavenly body— **a building fromGod, a house not made with hands, eternal,in the heavens." Then, after a most charac-teristic indirection, he first touches the judg-ment-seat of Christ, and then turns swiftlyto the strenuous feature, the moral earnest-ness, of his own preaching — *' knowing, there-fore, the fear of the Lord, we persuade men."But here Paul finds no place for pause.Quickly he thinks: **My motive is not one of 19MODER SERMOS
mere moral urgency. 'The love of Christconstraineth' me. It is the infinite love of the 'Lord Jesus for men which has seized me,which masters me, which drives me, sothat I must preach as I preach, so that Imust do as I do, whether I am consideredsober of mind or bewildered by madness.''or even at this attractive point is it possiblefor the apostle to stay. He is eagerly imme-diate. He is like a world on the verge whenabout to plunge into a new epoch ! His vergeis the love of Christ, and his epoch is theexpression of that love in the dealii of Christ,the awful deed of redemption. Let us recallthe mighty passage: **For the love of Christconstraineth us; because we thus judge, thatone died for all, therefore all died; and hedied for all, that they that live should nolonger live unto themselves, but unto him whofor their sakes died and rose again. Where-fore we henceforth know no man after theflesh; even tho we have known Christ afterthe flesh, yet now we know him so no more."The meaning of the text may be roughlygiven in this paraphrase: **My old standpointof valuation was that of the flesh, and I re-garded even Christ Himself from that stand-point; but now I estimate all things from thestandpoint of redemption. From my newstandpoint, Christ is our Savior, and men gettheir worth from the fact that He, for theirsakes, died and rose again."20CURTIS
To appreciate the Christian valuation of men, we need to apprehend Paul 's new stand-point. And for such apprehension, we needto note, with a sufBcient measure of emphasis,the rejected standpoint which the apostleterms ** after the flesh."ow, this peculiar expression — ** after theflesh "-^what does Paul mean by it? Paulmeans not what we mean by ** fleshly," andnot what we usually mean by ''worldly"; butrather what many writers mean when theyuse the term ** naturalistic." To study menwith the spirit and method and conclusionsof sheer naturalism; to hold that their totalbeing is in a process of nature, under fixtlaw, unrelated to a gracious and supernaturalProvidence; to esteem merely their naturalpowers and relations and possibilities; to re-gard men as worthy or profoundly significantoutside of Christ and His salvation — any suchvaluation of men, whether scientific, or the-ological, or popular, is to know them afterthe flesh. And it should be said further thatthis naturalistic valuation may come fromeither a person with no Christian experience,or a person whose Christian experience is (touse and dignify an expressive Americanism)** overslaughed."aturalistic judgments are now made inour extreme appreciation of actual perform-ance. There is a colloquialism which hascaught (as colloquialisms are wont to do) a21

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